The Manchester Free Press

Tuesday • May 11 • 2021

Vol.XIII • No.XIX

Manchester, N.H.

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Ruminations of a New Hampshire Republican with decidedly libertarian leanings
Updated: 5 min 50 sec ago

Clarice's Pieces

Sun, 2021-05-09 22:28 +0000

Clarice's Pieces by Clarice Feldman appears every Sunday morning on American Thinker.  Her column is a "must read" summary of the prior week's significant news events, and this week it's a doozy.

Vote Fraud: This Election Was Brought to you by the Letter Z

If you asked any sentient person what would happen if you gave millions of dollars to counties run by Democrats in battleground states in exchange for turning over to your left-wing designees the right to control election procedures and counting of ballots (in contravention of the constitutions of the affected states and the U.S. Constitution, which places the responsibility for setting election rules with state legislatures), they’d agree that the likelihood that the process would be corrupted was great. And as evidence slowly surfaces of the consequences of the Zuckerberg Foundation’s selective grants and the conditions of those grants, it seems undeniable that there was massive corruption.

The Election Wizard made a startling claim this week. In preparing the U.S. Census, the government collects data on citizens who self-report having voted in presidential elections. The latest census report reveals a starling anomaly: Four million fewer people reported having voted in the 2020 presidential election than the official tally shows. Pollster Richard Baris says the Census figures on voting are usually “spot on” and when they missed (by not a great deal) it was on over recorded, not under recorded, that is, they recorded more who voted than actually did.

My emphasis above.

Put Clarice on your Sunday morning calendar.  You can find her at American Thinker.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Net Neutrality Twist

Sun, 2021-05-09 21:06 +0000

Remember net neutrality?  If you do, probably only as a misnomer.  Anybody familiar with the leanings of Barack Obama knew that the push for net neutrality was a push for government regulation of the internet, and there was nothing neutral about Obama's approach to regulation.  Lois Lerner?

...which is why Obama was so excited to sign it, and why Trump was thrilled to see it repealed under his administration. The left screamed about the coming internet apocalypse but as with every other policy that removes a sliver of government from the lives of Americans, it turned out to be just fine. They were wrong. Unsurprisingly.

As it turns out, not only was the outrage over the repeal of net neutrality completely unjustified, much of it was completely fake.

As the battle was in full swing in 2017, the FCC received over 22 million public comments for and against the repeal, but as it turns out, millions of those comments were not individual communications but spam blasts. A new report from the Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, has found that 7.7 million comments in support of net neutrality were generated by just one person, a 19-year-old college student.

My emphasis above.

Categories: Blogs, United States

In Case You've Been Wondering...

Sat, 2021-05-08 09:55 +0000

IRS is running behind on issuing refunds.

Officials suggest whether you’re waiting on a refund or a stimulus check, the best information source for citizens is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. Updates only occur weekly, though. Calling the IRS for information about either will most likely result in a long wait and no additional information.

The good news: If your refund is issued after April 15, the IRS will pay you interest on that money (assuming you filed before the May 17 deadline). The rate works out to roughly 3% annually.

The bad news: That interest is considered taxable income on your 2021 return.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Reception With Corey Lewandowski

Fri, 2021-05-07 19:04 +0000

I attended a reception last night at Skymeadow Country Club in Nashua sponsored by the New Hampshire GOP.  Corey Lewandowski was the featured guest.  The opportunity to hear from someone who's been on the front lines gives me hope that America is not yet dead, even though a potentially fatal wound was inflicted by the 2020 election "irregularities."  The ongoing media campaign to suppress investigation, or even discussion of the election fraud has only served to convince me that it was real, and it is the most serious attack on America in our history.


While Corey's comments to the gathering were upbeat, he reminded us that we still have to be willing to fight, no matter how uncomfortable that might be.  That's why I was there, really — to find out how I could join the fight in an effective way.  I wanted to connect with Republicans at the local level, and to hear what New Hampshire Republicans planned to do about gun control by executive order, and about Washington Democrats' plans to gut election integrity laws.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Pam Tucker, Vice Chairman of the New Hampshire GOP.  I told her I'd been active, but only as a blogger.  I said I wanted to get more involved, so I asked who should I talk to.  Pam Tucker is who.  She said she was confident there would be ways I could help, and she invited me to call.  

Push back against federal overreach will only happen if Republicans in states like New Hampshire fight back and win.  Otherwise we go on living the Democrats' dream where Washington dictates, the media endorses, and the federal agencies punish anyone who refuses to knuckle under.

Even if we can fight back and win in New Hampshire, what does that guarantee?  Democrats might still succeed in legalizing election fraud in enough key blue states that conservatives are forever prevented from returning to power.  How do we stem the totalitarian tide then?

The only effective way I can envision it is if the states dig in their heels to resist the demise of federalism.  The good news is, resistance has begun.  The Texas State Senate passed a law declaring the state a "2nd Amendment sanctuary."

Senate Bill 513 simply prohibits the use of public funds towards the enforcement of future federal firearms rules and regulations that exceed those of Texas.

The Montana legislature recently passed similar legislation.

While much media coverage portrays this as a case  of "nullification," it is actually quite similar to liberal state and local governments' sanctuary laws, restricting assistance to enforcement of federal laws targeting undocumented immigrants for deportation.

Both immigration sanctuary laws and Montana's gun laws deny state and local assistance to federal officials seeking to enforce the laws and regulations in question. But, unlike true nullification efforts (such as those advocated by John C. Calhoun and others in the nineteenth century) they do not deny that those laws apply within the state, and do not prevent federal officials from trying to enforce the laws in question themselves.

I was delighted to learn that the resistance extends to New Hampshire where the House Criminal Justice Committee passed SB154

Concord, NH- House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) and Chairman of House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) released the following statements after the Criminal Justice Committee passed SB154, prohibiting the state from enforcing a Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms, on a vote of 11-10.

House Majority Leader Jason Osborne:

“After much discussion in Washington over the last few months about Executive Orders that would severely restrict our Second Amendments rights, it is abundantly clear that something has to be done. These potential Executive Orders, or any laws enacted by Congress, would impede New Hampshire citizens’ basic rights to defend themselves.”

“New Hampshire’s firearms laws are clear, and as a result, we are consistently ranked as one of the safest states in the nation. This bill would do nothing to change our current laws, it would simply say that New Hampshire rejects Washington edicts and we will not be enforcing them.”

The shoe is on the other foot for Democrats. They enthusiastically support the sanctuary city concept, but will they feel the same about 2nd amendment sanctuary states?  Hard to imagine, but then  Democrats are impervious to their own hypocrisy, anyway.

On the election integrity front, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Michigan have all passed legislation aimed at curbing election fraud by requiring such things as voter ID verification, banning ballot harvesting, and limiting mail-in voting.  However, the media almost universally parrot the Democrat talking points when reporting on state level measures. 

Even so, Trump has led the drumbeat of unfounded and ungrounded election fraud claims from his political exile at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. the former president has called the election results, among other things, the "Great Presidential Election Fraud of 2020" in press releases..

Seems to me Hillary Clinton claimed the 2016 election was stolen from her, but somehow the media was not aghast when she said it.  Of course, the rest of us translated Hillary's complaints as regret that she hadn't cheated enough.  Obviously, that problem got fixed in 2020.

So I'll make the call to Pam Tucker, looking forward to the opportunities that may arise.  It's a start, probably too long in the making, but better late than never.

Categories: Blogs, United States

CIA Replaces Waterboarding With 12-Hour Lectures On Intersectional Feminism

Fri, 2021-05-07 11:57 +0000

From the ever popular Babylon Bee...

Categories: Blogs, United States

White Liberals Watch In Amazement As Black Man Acquires ID

Fri, 2021-05-07 11:51 +0000

From The Babylon Bee:

HAMPTON FALLS, IA—White liberals gathered in the town of Hampton Falls were shocked and astonished as local black man, accountant, and father of three Michael Sparkton walked right into a DOT office and acquired an ID without any assitance from liberals whatsoever.

The rest...

Categories: Blogs, United States

Human Trafficking Does Not Violate Facebook's Terms of Service

Fri, 2021-05-07 11:25 +0000

Representative Kat Cammack of Florida sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding to know what Facebook intends to do about ads for illegal border crossing services that continue to appear on the platform.  

'Facebook's role in the crisis at the border is urgent and must be addressed immediately,' Cammack wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Fox News. 

In a statement to DailyMail.com, a Facebook spokesperson insisted: 'We prohibit content that either offers or assists with human smuggling. We have removed the content highlighted to us that violates our policies.' 

Cammack said that she found the Facebook posts advertising services to help migrants illegally cross the border through a simple search on her own.

One post advertises a 'Safe crossing to the UNITED STATES' for $6,000. 'Through the Piedras Negras border to get to SAN ANTONIO More details via telephone,' the ad reads in Spanish.

Another post advertises a $9,300 all-inclusive service that includes a bus pickup in Guatemala and direct transport to Houston.

'Even more troubling was the fact that as people visited these pages, myself included, that Facebook then provided additional posts and pages of related illegal content,' Cammack wrote in her letter.

How is it that diligent Facebook monitors missed those ads?  Too busy censoring conservatives?

Categories: Blogs, United States

What the Fed DOESN’T Want You to Know About Inflation

Thu, 2021-05-06 19:22 +0000

The following article by Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange, originally appeared on

Sound Money Defense League

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is it a temporary blip… or the beginning of a long-term trend? That’s the key question facing consumers, investors, and retirees when it comes to inflation.

There’s no denying that inflation pressures have picked up dramatically over the past 12 months. Price spikes in commodities including copper, grains, gasoline, and lumber tell the story – as do the raging bull markets in equities and housing.

Rapidly rising prices across an array of asset classes are a symptom of excess currency creation.

As economist Milton Friedman famously noted, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

Friedman wasn’t a gold standard or hard money proponent. Instead, he hoped to persuade monetary authorities to act responsibly!

Given the reckless policies undertaken recently by central bankers at the Fed – zero interest rates, Quantitative Easing to infinity, and “symmetric” (above 2%) inflation targeting – Friedman’s hope was misplaced.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, warned at his company’s shareholder meeting last weekend, “We are seeing very substantial inflation.”

Home buyers are feeling it. Lumber prices are at an all-time record high after months of relentless rises, helping push home building costs higher by double digits.

So are motorists. The national average price of gasoline at the pump is up more than $1 per gallon compared to a year ago.

The Consumer Price Index surged 0.6% in March, the biggest monthly increase in nearly a decade. An imperfect measure of inflation, the CPI tends to understate real-world cost increases.

Federal Reserve officials insist these extant inflation pressures are “transitory” – a consequence of the rise off the extreme lows in asset markets seen during last year’s pandemic panic. According to the Fed, the economy is merely returning to normal – and as it does inflation will moderate toward Chairman Jerome Powell’s target of about 2% annually.

The problem with the narrative the Fed is peddling on inflation is that U.S. fiscal and monetary policy are still going full blast with “emergency” spending and stimulus. There is no let-up in sight.

The Treasury Department recently reported it expects to borrow $463 billion in the current quarter – spiking the federal deficit to an astounding $2.3 trillion for the full budget year.

Treasury officials acknowledged the Biden administration’s borrowing binge represents hundreds of billions of dollars more in red ink than they previously estimated in February.

The extra borrowing is necessitated by President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, which authorized $1,400 stimulus checks, expanded emergency unemployment benefits, and various other handouts.

Generous unemployment payments are having an unintended consequence. Millions of Americans are choosing to stay home and collect benefits rather than work. That is contributing to a labor shortage, one that is especially pronounced in the restaurant and retail industries.

Thanks to competition from all the government handouts, businesses are having to jack up wages and even dangle big signing bonuses to attract workers. Those that haven’t may soon be forced to if as state and federal minimum wage hikes go into effect.

A 1970s style wage-price spiral may not be far off.

Wage-driven inflation hasn’t really hit the U.S. economy in decades. It’s the missing piece in a potential secular trend of rising inflation.

While commodity price spikes are often transitory due to the volatile nature of futures markets, wage pressures once unleashed tend to feed into higher inflation on a more sustained basis. Once wage expectations rise, they tend not to come back down to the earlier level.

Unfortunately, wage earners along with investors and retirees stand to lose purchasing power on any U.S. dollars they receive. The Fed is bent on keeping interest rates depressed to ensure a negative real rate is imposed on savings – an insidious policy which saps away the wealth of savers while transferring some of it to debtors.

The classic inflation hedges of gold and silver remain essential holdings for anyone who wishes to maintain purchasing power over time.

The U.S. dollar’s decline isn’t transitory in nature. It is persistent. Federal Reserve Notes will keep declining in value year after year – the only question is how rapidly.

Nobody knows how high inflation might get in the years ahead.

The Fed claims it has the tools to keep inflation “well anchored” should its rise become a bigger problem. But does it have the will to inflict financial pain upon Wall Street, the big banks, and the U.S. government itself?

They are all addicted to the Fed’s low interest-rate stimulus.

In this environment where the bond market and the entire financial economy is artificially propped up, bubbles never fully burst. Instead, they are constantly being reinflated on a rotating basis.

When inflation expectations become “unanchored,” fear will drive mainstream investors to make dramatic moves to try to protect themselves. The biggest rotation of all could be from dollar-denominated financial assets into tangible assets including physical precious metals.

 

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the company recently named "Best Overall Online Precious Metals Dealer" by Investopedia. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet, and Seeking Alpha.

Categories: Blogs, United States

500,000 Preventable Deaths

Wed, 2021-05-05 22:23 +0000

In his article describing how a single point failure destroyed America's National Pandemic Plan, Dr. Steven Hatfill calls on Congress to demand accountability. 

This incompetence and intentional interference in science and medicine must never be allowed to happen again! Congress must, for once, put aside Partisanship.
There needs to be Criminal Justice.
There needs to be Medical Justice.

Dr Hatfill is a specialist physician and a virologist.  He has a military background. He has separate master’s degrees in microbial genetics, radiation biochemistry, and experimental pathology.  He studied the Ebola Virus at the US Army Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick.  He had a front-row seat.

I watched in disbelief as a small number of senior federal employees defied orders and their oaths, only to join forces with a biased mainstream media and clueless State Governors, to systematically ignore and destroy a validated National Pandemic Response Plan that had its origins and testing in 2000 1, crafted into its final form in 2005, and updated in 2017.

In response, the Americans whose lives have been tragically disrupted and permanently altered, need to have an accountability of what went wrong and who was involved in the decisions that financially ruined millions of individuals and businesses, crippled the US economy, facilitated the preventable death of over 500,000 of our citizens, and destroyed all confidence in our medical research institutions and government.

[...]

Although the US system for COVID testing was broken, physicians could still make a provisional diagnosis based on symptoms, history, and clinical suspicion. Hydroxychloroquine was FDA-approved for other conditions, and the physician-directed outpatient use of HCQ would dramatically reduce hospital overloading. Drug safety was not a concern. It was proven safe even for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Adverse cardiac effects were not a major factor in the billions of HCQ doses given for other medical conditions in the past. 7

In 2010, under the Obama Administration, Dr. Rick Bright, PhD had been brought into the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). With an emphasis to improve US domestic vaccine production capability, in 2016 he was assigned as a Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness as well as the Director of the BARDA.

On 23 March, Rick Bright received notice that HHS Secretary Azar directed him to establish an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization for HCQ through BARDA. This would make any of the drug stored in the National Stockpile, legitimized for the treatment of COVID-19 outside of a hospital setting. In emails, Bright expressed indignation over his exclusion from the actual HCQ decision process. 8

In his Whistleblower Complaint, Rick Bright states his concern was the risk of irregular heart rhythm fatalities in patients taking HCQ. However, Bright was a PhD scientist; he was not a physician and he lacked training in cardiology and human pathology. He seemed unaware that millions of patients had been taking HCQ for other conditions over the years, in much higher doses and for longer periods of time than the short 5-day course of therapy proposed for early COVID-19 treatment. He also seemed unaware that evidence was building that in some patients, the COVID virus was attacking the heart.

On 24 March, Dr. Janet Woodcock, MD, (the FDA’s Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research), quickly reached out to advise Rick Bright. In place of obtaining an IND as directed by his superiors, she advised Bright to submit an application for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine instead. This is curious because Dr Woodcock was a physician and an internal medicine specialist with subspecialty training in Rheumatology. Consequently, she would have been quite familiar with the extraordinary safety profile of HCQ when given to hundreds of thousands of Lupus, Scleroderma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients for over 50 years, often in much higher doses for much longer times than the proposed dosing for early COVID-19 cases.

The issuance of her proposed EUA would predominantly restrict the use of HCQ to hospitalized patients. 7 Yet the early clinical data showed that HCQ was the most effective in outpatients where it prevented the need for hospitalization in the first place.

• In a legal document, Rick Bright makes a blatant admission of insubordination to multiple layers of leadership including the White House, HHS Secretary Azar, and Dr. Robert Kadlec, MD, the Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Readiness.
• Bright states the following in his Whistleblower Complaint: …“instead of a Nationwide Expanded Access IND protocol. Implementing the EUA was a compromise position, to rein in HHS leadership’s initial campaign to make the drugs available to the public outside of a hospital setting-” 8 (page 43)

Unauthorized to speak to the press, Bright then reached out to biased media outlets to express his inaccurate belief that chloroquine and HCQ were dangerous drugs. 8 By the time President Trump revealed that he had taken HCQ, Bright had already primed the mainstream media to over-react to any negative reports on the drug, including reports that were grossly inaccurate or not even peer-reviewed.

 

Categories: Blogs, United States

Confirmed: The FBI Is The Law Enforcement Arm of The Democrat Party

Wed, 2021-05-05 15:44 +0000

House Republican lawmakers pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland to explain why the 2017 shooting that nearly killed Representative Steve Scalise and several GOP colleagues was officially designated by the FBI as “suicide by cop,” instead of domestic terrorism.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Alexandria prosecutors all deemed the attack as domestic violent extremism targeting Republican members of Congress.

The FBI, however, privately determined the attack was “suicide by cop.” The designation was not made public until a congressional hearing last month.

Republicans have fumed over that determination, saying it downplays the shooter’s political motivation, which would make the incident domestic terrorism.

“This is clearly one of the cases where I think it needs to be reclassified because I think the evidence is very clear and many members of Congress could have lost their lives,” Rep. Robert Aderholt, Alabama Republican, said at the hearing Tuesday. “It is a very important issue for all members of Congress, whether Democrat or Republican.”

Unfortunately, it seems the ideological leanings of the attackers make quite a difference. 

The shooting, which targeted Republicans practicing in Alexandria, Virginia, for the annual congressional baseball game, was carried out by a lone gunman who had made numerous social media posts backing far-left causes and the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent.

James Comey's refusal to push for the prosecution of Hillary Clinton back in 2016 was the first clear sign that our corrupt FBI has become the law enforcement arm of the Democrat Party.  The zeal with which the organization has pursued individuals who were in Washington, DC on January 6th, provides further confirmation.

Paul and Marilyn Hueper, owners of Homer Inn & Spa, woke with a start at 9 a.m. April 28 when a dozen armed FBI agents kicked down their front door in an investigation associated with Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s stolen laptop, which was taken during the Jan. 6 siege of the nation’s Capitol.

[...]

Paul said he repeatedly asked to see a search warrant but was denied until two and a half hours had gone by. During that time, he was separated from his wife.

“We sat there really for the first hour, not knowing what’s going on,” Paul told the Bird’s Eye View. “They never offered for us to be comfortable,” he added, “It was very harshly done.”

Paul said the agents ransacked the house and left a huge hole in his front door, which they offered to replace.

[...]

Marilyn said she tried to be respectful but couldn’t help but laugh.

She asked to see some identification, at which point agents quickly flashed their badges.

“I couldn’t read it fast enough to know what it was,” she said of the badges. She then asked to see a warrant and was told that she “would get to see it” later.

When repeatedly told she was the woman in the photo, Marilyn responded by saying “I would like to know how I split myself into two locations because I didn’t know I had this power.”

The first photo agents showed her was very fuzzy and depicted a woman wearing a similar coat with a similar hairstyle. They then showed her a photo of the woman’s face.

She told them, “Oh that’s obviously not me. Why didn’t you show me that photo to start with?” The woman in the photo has detached earlobes – Marilyn’s are attached, she said. Plus, the woman was wearing a sweater that Marilyn said, “You couldn’t pay me to wear.”

The agents suggested that she was lying and not cooperating, she told Bird.

At no point was the couple read their Miranda rights or charged with any crime, and the agents left after three hours without offering an apology. They also took Marilyn’s phones and laptop, she said.

Apparently the terrorist designation allows the FBI to dispense with all those niceties like Miranda warnings, search warrants, and any other constitutional rights to which one might mistakenly think one is entitled.  What a wonderfully effective weapon for the FBI to apply to political opponents of their Democrat sponsors.

And so unlike the treatment of left-wing rioters and arsonists in Portland, Oregon.  Charges against 90% of them were dropped.  Keep in mind that the only shooting and killing in Washington on January 6th was done by a member of the Capital Police whom the DOJ cleared and refuses to identify, and the victim was a protestor, an unarmed woman Air Force veteran. 

Expect nothing to come of Attorney General Garland's promise to raise this "suicide by cop" designation with the FBI. 

Categories: Blogs, United States

Defense Files Motion For a New Trial

Wed, 2021-05-05 11:51 +0000

Eric Nelson, attorney for convicted murderer Derek Chauvin, has filed for a new trial, arguing that the court "abused its discretion" when it refused to sequester the jury, and also arguing that a juror was guilty of misconduct.

“The defense kept asking for full sequestration, and the judge kept denying it,” Mr. Tamburino said. “Then we had the shooting of Daunte Wright. Then we had congresswoman Maxine Waters. And the defense kept asking for full sequestration, and it kept being denied. That’s a strong argument.”

Legal experts said the defense’s case was strengthened by the revelation Monday that Mr. Mitchell, known as juror No. 52, wore a “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” shirt and a “Black Lives Matter” hat, as shown in a photo posted in August on social media, possibly at a march in the District.

On the jury questionnaire, Mr. Mitchell said he answered “no” when asked whether he had “participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality.”

“I think they asked if I attended any protests for George Floyd or anything for police brutality. My answer was no because I hadn’t,” Mr. Mitchell told WCCO-TV. “This particular march was more so for voting, voter registration. Getting people out to get out and vote for the presidential election that was upcoming a couple months afterward. … This was the only thing I attended.”

The rally, which took place on the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was also billed by the National Action Network as the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” and featured speeches by several Floyd siblings.

“It was also advertised as a protest against police use of force, specifically, ‘Get off our necks,’” Mr. Tamburino said. “He wore a T-shirt. There were Floyd family members speaking at that rally as well as people in support of the family for Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor. So clearly he should have disclosed that. He didn’t.”

Categories: Blogs, United States

Cops Are Leaving The Force In Droves

Wed, 2021-05-05 11:50 +0000

Hamstrung by budget cuts and policy changes, vilified in anti-police protests, officers across the nation are resigning and retiring at record rates.

An estimated 5,300 officers quit or retired from the New York Police Department last year, 200 or more cops have left the Seattle force, and in the nation’s capital, the union reports that the 3,700-strong Metropolitan Police Department is down 300 badges since the D.C. Council enacted sweeping police reforms last summer.

“Officers are leaving at an alarming rate, and crime is spiking in a lot of different areas,” police union chairman Gregg Pemberton told The Washington Times on Tuesday.

In Baltimore, the department has lost nearly 300 officers since last year, leaving detectives “overwhelmed with their caseload because they, too, are short-staffed,” said the leader of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

“This has a direct effect on the crime fight because there is barely enough time to answer the 911 calls, let alone look for violent offenders,” Mike Mancuso said.

The mass exodus began in the months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last May, sparking protests over racism and police brutality across the nation, along with calls to “abolish” and “defund” the police.

Paul Beakman Jr., former president of the Fraternal Order of Police Western New York Lodge 103, called the movement to defund police “one of the most ill-thought concepts ever.”

Whether or not defund the police is an "ill-thought concept" depends upon what proponents of it are trying to accomplish.  Let me go out on a limb and suggest that the protection of black lives, or any other lives, is not among their goals.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Is The Mainstream Media Dying?

Wed, 2021-05-05 04:36 +0000

If it is, it's not happening fast enough for my money.  Matt Taibbi and Ben Bradlee, Jr. debate the topic.

Griffiths: Thanks, Ben. Now, Matt, we're going to give you the last word. Be it resolved: The mainstream media is dying and that's OK. You've been arguing in favor of the motion.

Taibbi: In the best-case scenario, I would hope that the mainstream media didn't die or lose its authority. But I think we're heading into a situation where something has to change dramatically.

We’ve talked about news deserts in this country. We've lost thousands of local newspapers since the early 2000s. The situation has resulted in a major class schism in journalism, because so many of those local news reporters in those smaller papers — these aren't rich people. They're not children of privilege. They don't have a lot of money, but they served a very valuable role in small communities and they reported on things that were important to ordinary people. And also, they were in touch with the people in their own community because they live there.

What's happened with the disappearance of those types of organizations is that the only thing left is the national news media, which increasingly — and I watched this process happen because I've been in the business — it's increasingly made up of people like me who are upper-class white folks from big cities of the coast, of the East Coast and California.

If you go on the plane on the campaign trail, most of the people on the plane now are graduates of Ivy League universities. They live in rarefied areas of expensive, cosmopolitan neighborhoods. Socially, they see themselves as being the same people as the politicians they're reporting on. That's a terrible situation. I think that it's an underrated problem within modern news media. It's lost some touch with mass audiences — in part because they're no longer the people who are covering the affairs of ordinary people.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Deperno Law and Dominion Voting Systems

Wed, 2021-05-05 04:08 +0000

Deperno Law Office claims to have evidence of Dominion Voting Systems corruption. Video demonstration at the link.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Good Question

Tue, 2021-05-04 11:44 +0000
Categories: Blogs, United States

Imagine Being a Cop

Tue, 2021-05-04 10:55 +0000
Categories: Blogs, United States

Arkansas Ends Sales Taxes on Gold and Silver; Additional States May Soon Follow

Mon, 2021-05-03 19:42 +0000

The following article was provided by Jp Cortez, Policy Director for the
Sound Money Defense League

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(May 3, 2021) Little Rock, Arkansas –  By signing sound money legislation today, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has officially ended sales taxation on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins– thereby setting an example for legislators in New Jersey, Maine, Ohio, and Tennessee, who are still considering similar measures in their own states this year.

Arkansas’s Senate Bill 336, originally introduced by Sen. Mark Johnson and Rep. Delia Haak, enjoyed tremendous popularity, passing through the state Senate 30-1 before passing out of the state House unanimously by a vote of 93-0.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Money Metals Exchange, and grassroots activists and coin dealers in Arkansas, Senate Bill 336 will allow Arkansas investors, savers, and small businesses to acquire precious metals without being slapped with sales and use taxes.

The Arkansas sales tax exemption takes effect on July 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, similar bills are still pending in Ohio, Maine, Tennessee, and New Jersey as the national backlash against taxing constitutional money continues.

Governor Hutchinson signs Senate Bill 336 alongside
sponsors and supporters of the measure

Including Arkansas, 40 U.S. states now fully or partially exempt gold and silver from sales taxes. That leaves 10 states and the District of Columbia as the primary jurisdictions that still harshly penalize citizens seeking to protect their savings against the serial devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note.

States have been removing sales taxes from monetary metals for the following reasons:

  • Taxing precious metals is unfair to certain savers and investors. Gold and silver are held as forms of savings and investment. States do not tax the purchase of stocks, bonds, ETFs, currencies, and other financial instruments, so it makes no sense to tax monetary metals.
  • Levying sales taxes on precious metals is illogical because gold and silver are inherently held for resale. Sales taxes are typically levied on final consumer goods. Precious metals are inherently held for resale, not “consumption,” making the application of sales taxes on precious metals illogical and especially inappropriate.
  • Taxing gold and silver harms in-state businesses. It’s a competitive marketplace, so buyers in states with precious-metals sales taxes often take their business to neighboring states that have eliminated or reduced sales tax on precious metals. Investors can easily avoid paying $136.50 in sales taxes, for example, on a $1,950 purchase of a one-ounce gold bar. Therefore, levying sales tax on precious metals harms in-state businesses, who will lose business to out-of-state precious metals dealers.  Coin conventions also tend to avoid the sales tax states.
  • Taxing precious metals is harmful to citizens attempting to protect their assets. Purchasers of precious metals aren’t fat-cat investors. Most who buy precious metals do so in small increments as a way of saving money. Precious metals investors are purchasing precious metals as a way to preserve their wealth against the damages of inflation. Inflation harms the poorest among us—including pensioners, Arkansans on fixed incomes, wage-earners, savers, and more.

Jp Cortez, policy director for the Sound Money Defense League, explained that “the vast majority of states realize that taxing sound money harms in-state investors, in-state businesses, and even state revenues.”

Cortez continued: “by eliminating taxes on the purchase of gold and silver, Arkansas citizens can protect themselves against inflation, while citizens in the few states that still tax sound money are punished for trying to preserve their wealth.”

Having eliminated sales taxes on the monetary metals, Arkansas will rise from dead last in the Sound Money Index to 30th place among the 50 states.

 

Jp Cortez is the Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan, national public policy group working to restore sound money at the state and federal level and publisher of the Sound Money Index.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Raucous Reception for Romney

Sun, 2021-05-02 10:57 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

James Lindsay

Sun, 2021-05-02 10:09 +0000

Indeed. That's it.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Biden's First Address

Thu, 2021-04-29 11:30 +0000

The full transcript of Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of congress:

Madame Speaker, Madame Vice President, No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it's about time.
 
The First Lady, the Second Gentleman, Mr. Chief Justice.
 
Members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet – and distinguished guests.
 
My fellow Americans.
 
While the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is very different – a reminder of the extraordinary times we are in.  Throughout our history, Presidents have come to this chamber to speak to the Congress, to the nation, and to the world.  To declare war. To celebrate peace. To announce new plans and possibilities.
 
Tonight, I come to talk about crisis — and opportunity.  About rebuilding our nation — and revitalizing our democracy.  And winning the future for America.  As I stand here tonight — just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration.  100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis.
 
The worst pandemic in a century, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.
 
Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again, turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.
 
Life can knock us down, but in America, we never stay down.  In America, we always get up.  And today, that's what we're doing: America is rising anew, choosing hope over fear, truth over lies, light over darkness.
 
After 100 Days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff.  We are working again, dreaming again, discovering again, leading the world again.  We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America.
 
100 days ago, America's house was on fire.
 
We had to act.
 
And thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer – and with the overwhelming support of the American people – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – we did act.
 
Together — we passed the American Rescue Plan — one of the most consequential rescue packages in American history.  We're already seeing the results.
 
After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days – we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days.

We're marshalling every federal resource. We've gotten the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers.
 
We're setting up community vaccination sites, and are deploying mobile units into hard-to-reach areas.
 
Today, 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site.
 
Everyone over the age of 16, everyone – is now eligible and can get vaccinated right away.
 
So get vaccinated now.
 
When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
 
100 days later, nearly 70% of seniors are fully protected.
 
Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80% since January. Down 80%.
 
And, more than half of all adults in America have gotten at least one shot.
 
At a mass vaccination center in Glendale, Arizona, I asked a nurse what it's like.
 
She looked and said every shot feels like a dose of hope.
 
A dose of hope for the educator in Florida who has a child who suffers from an auto-immune disease.
 
She wrote to me that she was worried about bringing the virus home.
 
When she got vaccinated, she sat in her car and just cried.
 
Cried out of joy, cried out of relief.
 
Parents are seeing smiles on their kids' faces as they go back to school because teachers and school bus drivers, cafeteria workers have been vaccinated.
 
Grandparents hugging their children and grandchildren instead of pressing their hands against a window to say goodbye
 
It means everything to both of them.
 
There's still more work to do to beat this virus. We can't let our guard down now.
 
But tonight, I can say because of you — the American people – our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen.
 
What else have we done these first 100 days?
 
We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households.
 
We've already sent more than 160 million checks out the door.
 
It's making a difference.
 
For many people, it's making all the difference in the world.
 
A single mom in Texas wrote to me. She said when she couldn't work, this relief check put food on the table
and saved her and her son from eviction.
 
A grandmother in Virginia told me she immediately took her granddaughter to the eye doctor — something she put off for months because she didn't have the money.
 
One of the defining images of this crisis has been cars lined up for miles waiting for a box of food to be put in the trunk.
 
Did you ever think you'd see that in America?
 
That's why the American Rescue Plan is delivering food and nutrition assistance to millions of Americans facing hunger – and hunger is down sharply already.
 
We're also providing:

Rental assistance to keep people from being evicted from their homes. Providing loans to keep small businesses open and their employees on the job.
 
During these 100 days, an additional 800,000 Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act because I established a special sign up period to do that.
 
We're making one of the largest one-time investments ever in improving health care for veterans.
 
Critical investments to address the opioid crisis.
 
And, maybe most importantly, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year.
 
In the process, the economy created more than 1.3 million new jobs in 100 days.
 
More new jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record.
 
The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year.
 
That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades.
 
America is moving. Moving forward. And we can't stop now.
 
We're in a competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century.
 
We have to do more than just build back. We have to build back better.
 
Throughout our history, public investments and infrastructure have transformed America.
 
The transcontinental railroad and interstate highways united two oceans and brought us into a totally new age of progress.
 
Universal public school and college aid opened wide the doors of opportunity.
 
Scientific breakthroughs took us to the Moon and now to Mars, discovered vaccines, and gave us the Internet and so much more.

These are the investments we make together, as one country, and that only government can make.

Time and again, they propel us into the future.
 
That's why I proposed The American Jobs Plan — a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.
 
The largest jobs plan since World War II.
 
It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing roads, bridges and highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors and transit lines. It's clean water.
 
Today, up to 10 million homes and more than 400,000 schools and child care centers have pipes with lead in them, including for drinking water.

A clear and present danger to our children's health.

The American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100% of the nation's lead pipes and service lines so every American, so every child – can turn on the faucet and be certain to drink clean water.
 
It creates jobs connecting every American with high-speed internet, including 35% of rural Americans who still don't have it.
 
This will help our kids and businesses succeed in a 21st Century economy.

And I am asking the Vice President to help lead this effort.
 
It creates jobs by building a modern power grid.
 
Our grids are vulnerable to storms, hacks, and catastrophic failures – with tragic results as we saw in Texas and elsewhere during winter storms.
 
The American Jobs Plan will create jobs to lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid.
 
The American Jobs Plan will help millions of people get back to their jobs and their careers.
 
2 million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn't get the care they need for their family, their children.
 
800,000 families are on a Medicaid waiting list right now to get homecare for their aging parent or loved one with a disability.
 
This plan will help these families and create jobs for our caregivers with better wages and better benefits.
 
For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis.
 
Jobs. Jobs.
 
For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.
 
The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy efficient buildings and homes.
 
Electrical workers installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways.
 
Farmers planting cover crops, so they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it.
 
There's no reason the blades for wind turbines can't be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.
 
No reason why American workers can't lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.
 
The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on.
 
And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: "Buy American."
 
American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs.
 
The way it should be.
 
Now – I know some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you.
 
You feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that's rapidly changing.
 
I want to speak speak directly to you.
 
Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come.
 
These are good-paying jobs that can't be outsourced.
 
Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree.
 
75% do not require an associate's degree.
 
The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America.
 
And, it recognizes something I've always said.
 
Wall Street didn't build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class.
 
And that's why I'm calling on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act – the PRO Act — and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize.
 
By the way – let's also pass the $15 minimum wage.
 
No one should work 40 hours a week and still live below the poverty line.
 
And we need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women.
 
Let's get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk for equal pay.
 
It's long past time.
 
Finally, the American Jobs Plan will be the biggest increase in non-defense research and development on record.
 
We will see more technological change in the next 10 years – than we saw in the last 50 years.
 
And we're falling behind in that competition.
 
Decades ago we used to invest 2% of our GDP on research and development.
 
Today, we spend less than 1%.
 
China and other countries are closing in fast.

We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future: advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy.

The Defense Department has an agency called DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – that's there to develop breakthroughs to enhance our national security – which led to the internet and GPS and so much more.

The National Institutes of Health, the NIH – should create a similar Advanced Research Projects Agency for health.

To develop breakthroughs – to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer.
 
This is personal to so many of us.
I can think of no more worthy investment. And I know of nothing that is more bipartisan.
 
Let's end cancer as we know it. It's within our power
 
Investments in jobs and infrastructure like the ones we're talking about have often had bipartisan support.
 
Vice President Harris and I meet regularly in the Oval Office with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the American Jobs Plan.
 
And I applaud a group of Republican Senators who just put forward their proposal.
 
So, let's get to work.

We welcome ideas.
 
But, the rest of the world isn't waiting for us. Doing nothing is not an option.

Secretary Blinken can tell you, I spent a lot of time with President Xi. Spent over 24 hours in private discussions. When he called to congratulate, we had a two hour discussion. He's deadly earnest about becoming most significant consequential nation in the world. He ant others, autocrats, think that democracy can't compete in the 21st century. It takes too long to get consensus. 

To win that competition for the future, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families – in our children.

That's why I'm introducing the American Families Plan tonight, which addresses four of the biggest challenges facing American families today.

First, access to a good education.
 
When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world.
 
But the world is catching up. They are not waiting.
 
12 years is no longer enough today to compete in the 21st Century.
 
My American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – starting as early as we can. 

A great university in this country conducted studies of the last 10 years that shows adding two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4- year-old, no matter what background they come from, puts them in a position of being able to compete all the way through 12 years.    
 
The research shows that when a young child goes to school—not day care—they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.
 
And then we add two years of free community college.
 
And we will increase Pell Grants and investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal colleges, and minority-serving institutions.
 
Jill is a community college professor who teaches today as First Lady.
 
She has long said any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us – and she'll be leading this effort.
 
Second, the American Families plan will provide access to quality, affordable child care.

I'm proposing legislation that would guarantee that low- to middle-income families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5. 

The most hard-pressed working families won't have to spend a dime.    

Third, the American Families Plan will finally provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
 
No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and a loved one – a parent, spouse, or child.
 
And fourth, the American Families Plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of families.
 
In March we expanded a tax credit for every child in a family.
 
Up to a $3,000 Child Tax Credit for children over 6 — and $3,600 for children under 6.
 
With two parents, two kids, that's up to $7,200 in your pocket to help take care of your family.
 
This will help more than 65 million children and help cut child poverty in half this year.
 
Together, let's extend the Child Tax Credit at least through the end of 2025.
 
The American Rescue Plan lowered health care premiums for 9 million Americans who buy their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
 
Let's make that provision permanent so their premiums don't go back up.
 
In addition to my Families Plan, I will work with Congress to address – this year – other critical priorities for America's families.

The Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans –protecting people with pre-existing conditions, protecting women's health.

And the pandemic has demonstrated how badly it is needed.
 
Let's lower deductibles for working families on the Affordable Care Act, and let's lower prescription drug costs.
 
We all know how outrageously expensive they are.
 
In fact, we pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world right here in America – nearly three times as much as other countries.
 
We can change that.
 
Let's do what we've always talked about for all of years I was down here in this body. 
 
Let's give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs.
 
That won't just help people on Medicare – it will lower prescription drug costs for everyone.
 
The money we save, which is billions of dollars, can go to strengthen the Affordable Care Act – expand Medicare coverage and benefits – without costing taxpayers one additional penny. It's within our power to do it. Let's do it now. 
 
We've talked about it long enough – Democrats and Republicans.
 
Let's get it done this year.
 
This is all about a simple premise: Health care should be a right, not a privilege in America.
 
So how do we pay for my Jobs and Family Plans?
 
I've made clear that we can do it without increasing deficits.
 
Let's start with what I will not do.
 
I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year.
 
It's time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share.
 
Just pay their fair share.
 
A recent study shows that 55 of the nation's biggest corporations paid zero in federal income tax last year.
 
No federal taxes on more than $40 billion in profits.
 
A lot of companies evade taxes through tax havens from Switzerland to Bermuda to the Cayman Islands.
 
And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions that allow for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas.
 
That's not right.
 
We're going to reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share – and help pay for the public investments their businesses will benefit from.
 
And, we're going to reward work, not wealth.
 
We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans – those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%. We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans – those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%.
 
That's where it was when George W. Bush became president.
 
We're going to get rid of the loopholes that allow Americans who make more than $1 million a year pay a lower rate on their capital gains than working Americans pay on their work.
 
This will only affect three tenths of 1% of all Americans.
 
And the IRS will crack down on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes.
 
That's estimated to be billions of dollars.
 
Look, I'm not out to punish anyone.

But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country.

They're already paying enough.

What I've proposed is fair. It's fiscally responsible.

It raises the revenue to pay for the plans I've proposed that will create millions of jobs and grow the economy.
 
When you hear someone say that they don't want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% and on corporate America – ask them: whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut?
 
Look at the big tax cut in 2017.
 
It was supposed to pay for itself and generate vast economic growth.
 
Instead it added $2 trillion to the deficit.
 
It was a huge windfall for corporate America and those at the very top.
 
Instead of using the tax savings to raise wages and invest in research and development – it poured billions of dollars into the pockets of CEOs.
 
In fact, the pay gap between CEOs and their workers is now among the largest in history.
 
According to one study, CEOs make 320 times what their average workers make.
 
The pandemic has only made things worse.
 
20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans.
 
At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion.
 
Let me say that again.

Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic.

They are now worth more than $4 Trillion.
 
My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has
never worked.
 
It's time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out.
 
A broad consensus of economists – left, right, center – agree that what I'm proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth.
 
These are among the highest value investments we can make as a nation.
 
I've often said that our greatest strength is the power of our example – not just the example of our power.
 
And in my conversations with world leaders – many I've known for a long time – the comment I hear most often is: we see that America is back – but for how long?
 
My fellow Americans, we have to show not just that we are back, but that we are here to stay.
 
And that we aren't going it alone – we're going to be leading with our allies.
 
No one nation can deal with all the crises of our time alone – from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change – and as we're experiencing now, pandemics.
 
There's no wall high enough to keep any virus away.
 
As our own vaccine supply grows to meet our needs – and we are meeting them – we will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries – just as America was the arsenal of democracy in World War 2.
 
The climate crisis is not our fight alone, either.
 
It's a global fight.
 
The United States accounts for less than 15% of carbon emissions.
 
The rest of the world accounts for 85%.
 
That's why – I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on my first day in office.
 
And I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America, with all of the major economies of the world – from China and Russia to India and the European Union in my first 100 days.
 
I wanted the world to see that there is consensus that we are at an inflection point in history.
 
And the consensus is if we act, we can save the planet – and we can create millions of jobs and economic growth and opportunity to raise the standard of living for everyone in the world.
 
The investments I've proposed tonight also advance a foreign policy that benefits the middle class.
 
That means making sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including China.
 
In my discussion with President Xi, I told him that we welcome the competition – and that we are not looking for conflict.
 
But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board.
 
America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property.
 
I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo—Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start conflict – but to prevent conflict.
 
And, I told him what I've said to many world leaders – that America won't back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.
 
No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated. A president has to represent the essence of our country.
 
America is an idea – unique in the world.
 
We are all created equal. It's who we are. We cannot walk away from that principle.
 
With regard to Russia, I made very clear to President Putin that while we don't seek escalation, their actions have consequences.
 
I responded in a direct and proportionate way to Russia's interference in our elections and cyber—attacks on our government and businesses – and they did both of those things and I did respond.
 
But we can also cooperate when it's in our mutual interests.
 
As we did when we extended the New START Treaty on nuclear arms – and as we're working to do on the climate crisis.
 
On Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs that present a serious threat to America's security and world security – we will be working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy and stern deterrence.
 
And American leadership means ending the forever war in Afghanistan.
 
We have the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.
 
And I'm the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have had a child serving in a warzone.
 
Today we have service members serving in the same war as their parents once did.
 
We have service members in Afghanistan who were not yet born on 9/11.
 
War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi—generational undertaking of nation—building.
 
We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.
 
We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

If you've been to the upper valley, you've seen the gates of hell. We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.   
 
After 20 years of American valor and sacrifice, it's time to bring our troops home.
 
Even as we do, we will maintain an over—the—horizon capability to suppress future threats to the homeland.
 
But make no mistake – the terrorist threat has evolved beyond Afghanistan since 2001 and we will remain vigilant against threats to the United States, wherever they come from.
 
Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and other places in Africa and the Middle East and beyond.
 
And, we won't ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.
 
And my fellow Americans, we must come together to heal the soul of this nation.
 
It was nearly a year ago before her father's funeral, when I spoke with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd's young daughter.
 
As I knelt down to talk to her so we could talk eye—to—eye, she said to me, "Daddy changed the world."
 
After the conviction of George Floyd's murderer, we can see how right she was – if we have the courage to act.
 
We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America.
 
Now is our opportunity to make real progress.
 
Most men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably.
 
I know them. I know they want to help meet this moment as well.
 
My fellow Americans, we have to come together.
 
To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.
 
To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
 
And to enact police reform in George Floyd's name that passed the House already.
 
I know the Republicans have their own ideas and are engaged in productive discussions with Democrats.
 
We need to work together to find a consensus.
 
Let's get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd's death.
 
The country supports this reform.
Congress should act.
 
We have a giant opportunity to bend to the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
 
Real justice.
 
And with the plans I outlined tonight, we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues American life in many other ways.
 
A chance to deliver real equity.
 
Good jobs and good schools. Affordable housing. Clean air and clean water.
 
Being able to generate wealth and pass it down through generations.
 
Real opportunities in the lives of more Americans – Black, White, Latino, Asian American, Native American.
 
I also want to thank the Senate for voting 94—1 to pass the COVID—19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from the vicious hate crimes we've seen this past year – and for too long.
 
I urge the House to do the same and send that legislation to my desk as soon as possible.
 
I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans.
 
To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back.
 
And another thing.
 
Let's reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has been law in this country for 27 years since I first wrote it.
 
It will close the so—called "boyfriend" loophole to keep guns out of the hands of abusers.
 
It's estimated that more than 50 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner – every month in America.
 
Pass it and save lives.
 
And I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is an epidemic in America.
 
Our flag at the White House was still flying at half—staff for the 8 victims of the mass shooting in Georgia, when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.
 
In the week between those mass shootings, more than 250 other Americans were shot dead.
 
250 shot dead.
 
I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue.
 
In the 1990s, we passed universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired in seconds.
 
We beat the NRA. Mass shootings and gun violence declined.
 
But in the early 2000's, that law expired and we've seen the daily bloodshed since.
 
More than two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, surrounded by some of the bravest people I know – the survivors and families who lost loved ones to gun violence – I laid out several steps the Department of Justice is taking to end this epidemic.
 
One of them is banning so—called "ghost guns."
 
They are homemade guns built from a kit that includes the directions on how to finish the firearm.
 
The parts have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can't be traced.
 
The buyers of ghost gun kits aren't required to pass a background check.
 
Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist could buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a lethal weapon.
 
But not anymore.
 
I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence.
 
But it's time for Congress to act as well.

I don't want to become confrontational, but we need more Senate Republicans to join with the overwhelming majority of their Democratic colleagues, and close loopholes and require background checks to purchase a gun. 

And we need a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines again. Don't tell me it can't be done. We've done it before … and it worked.    

Talk to most responsible gun owners, most hunters – they'll tell you there's no possible justification for having 100 rounds – 100 bullets – in a weapon.
 
They will tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun, but who shouldn't be able to.
 
These kinds of reasonable reforms have the overwhelming support of the American people – including many gun owners.
 
The country supports reform, and the Congress should act.
 
This shouldn't be a Red vs. Blue issue. It's an American issue.
 
And here's what else we can do.
 
Immigration has always been essential to America.
 
Let's end our exhausting war over immigration.
 
For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform and done nothing about it.
 
It's time to fix it.
 
On Day One of my presidency, I kept my commitment and I sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress.
 
If you believe we need a secure border – pass it.
 
If you believe in a pathway to citizenship – pass it.
 
If you actually want to solve the problem – I have sent you a bill, now pass it.
 
We also have to get at the root of the problem of why people are fleeing to our southern border from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador.
 
The violence. The corruption. The gangs. The political instability. Hunger. Hurricanes. Earthquakes.
 
When I was Vice President, I focused on providing the help needed to address these root causes of migration.
 
It helped keep people in their own countries instead of being forced to leave.
 
Our plan worked.
 
But the last administration shut it down.
 
I'm restoring the program and asked Vice President Harris to lead our diplomatic efforts.
 
I have absolute confidence she will get the job done.
 
Now, if Congress won't pass my plan – let's at least pass what we agree on.
 
Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for the Dreamers – the young people who have only known America as their home.
 
And, permanent protections for immigrants on temporary protected status who come from countries beset by man—made and natural made violence and disaster.
 
As well as a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers who put food on our tables.
 
Immigrants have done so much for America during the pandemic – as they have throughout our history.
 
The country supports immigration reform.
 
Congress should act.
 
And if we are to truly restore the soul of America – we need to protect the sacred right to vote.
 
More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before in our history – in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever.
 
That should be celebrated. Instead it's being attacked.
 
Congress should pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and send them to my desk right away.
 
The country supports it.
 
Congress should act.
 
As we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol—desecrating our democracy—remain vivid in our minds.
 
Lives were put at risk. Lives were lost. Extraordinary courage was summoned.
 
The insurrection was an existential crisis—a test of whether our democracy could survive.
 
It did.
 
But the struggle is far from over. The question of whether our democracy  will long endure is both ancient and urgent.
 
As old as our Republic. Still vital today.
 
Can our democracy deliver on its promise that all of us – created equal in the image of God – have a chance to lead lives of dignity, respect, and possibility?
 
Can our democracy deliver on the most pressing needs of our people?
 
Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears that have pulled us apart?
 
America's adversaries – the autocrats of the world – are betting it can't. I promise you, they're betting we can't. They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. 
 
They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong.
 
We have to prove democracy still works.
 
That our government still works – and can deliver for the people.
 
In our first 100 Days together, we have acted to restore the people's faith in our democracy to deliver.
 
We're vaccinating the nation. We're creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. We're delivering real results people can see and feel in their own lives.
 
Opening the doors of opportunity. Guaranteeing fairness and justice.
 
That's the essence of America. That's democracy in action.
 
Our Constitution opens with the words, "We the People".
 
It's time we remembered that We the People are the government. You and I.
 
Not some force in a distant capital. Not some powerful force we have no control over.
 
It's us. It's "We the people."
 
In another era when our democracy was tested, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us—In America: we do our part.
 
That's all I'm asking. That we all do our part.
 
And if we do, then we will meet the central challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong.
 
The autocrats will not win the future.
 
America will.
 
The future will belong to America.
 
I stand here tonight before you in a new and vital hour in the life of our democracy and our nation.
 
And I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or more optimistic about America.
 
We have stared into an abyss of insurrection and autocracy — of pandemic and pain — and "We the People" did not flinch.
 
At the very moment our adversaries were certain we would pull apart and fail.
 
We came together.
 
United.
 
With light and hope, we summoned new strength and new resolve.
 
To position us to win the competition for the 21st Century.
 
On our way forward to a Union more perfect. More prosperous. More just.
 
As one people. One nation. One America.
 
It's never been a good bet to bet against America.
 
And it still isn't.
 
We are the United States of America.
 
There is nothing – nothing – beyond our capacity – nothing we can't do – if we do it together.
 
May God bless you all.
 
May God protect our troops.

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